Not so long ago, there were two major competing theories in the United States regarding the origins of life: evolution and creationism. Evolution represented science's opinion of how the universe began, and creationism offered the religious explanation. It was pretty cut and dry. Then came "intelligent design."

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­The intelligent design (ID) movement claims that life as we know it could not have developed through random natural processes -- that only the guidance of an intelligent power can explain the complexity and diversity that we see today.

How does intelligent design explain the origins of life? Does it fit the criteria of a scientific theory, or is it religious dogma in a scientific wrapper? In this article, we'll examine intelligent design and the controversy it has generated.